Why I Have No Plans To "Go Back To Work"

11:40:00 AM

"So...when are you going back to work?"

"When will the twins start daycare so you can go back to work?"

"How long do you have before you go back to work?"

As the twins get older, I've noticed that these questions have become more frequent.  It seems everyone has a problem with me staying at home with my kids and raising them.  It wasn't always like this though.  I used to work outside of the home.  We tried daycare centers with our eldest, and it was a living nightmare.  After three centers, we vowed to never send our kids to another daycare center if we could avoid it.  I'm not saying that all daycare centers are bad.  It's just the ones that were local to us at that time were horrific. H-O-R-R-I-F-I-C.

Right after I had my eldest, I got a phone call from my boss asking me whether I would mind working from home.  My maternity leave wasn't a paid one so I agreed.  (This was my first child so I had no idea how hard it would be to work from home with a newborn. LOL!  What was I thinking?)  I had a demonic, menopausal co-worker that my boss was scared of for some reason.  Let's call her "Gwen" for the sake of this story.  She was costing him money in court sanctions, but he didn't want to get rid of her.  I think she was blackmailing him because she only worked two days a week and left early on one of those days.  She was the only person with this schedule.  Plus, a disgruntled HR employee revealed she was getting paid more than anyone there, even though her position wasn't a high-paying one.

Anyway, my boss allowed me to work from home, and I would come in once a week on Thursdays to switch files, provide updates, etc.  Well, when Gwen got wind of this arrangement, she started causing problems for me, like hiding my files, deleting my work from the shared software that we used, etc.  At first, I didn't know it was her.  But, one day, I asked the file clerk for some files that I was going to take home for the next week.  There was no trace of them in the file cabinets.   The file clerk revealed to me that since she knew I was coming in for those files, she had specifically set them aside for me because no one else would be working on them besides me.  She said she placed them in a box for me with a sticky note with my name on the lid.  On this day, Gwen was not in the office.  The file clerk happened to check her cubicle, and under the desk was the box with the missing files.  I wanted to see whether it would happen again so I asked the file clerk not to mention anything to Gwen about the files.  I should mention that the file clerk revealed that she didn't get along with Gwen because Gwen felt as if the file clerk was somehow beneath her.  So, we got another box and placed the files in there so I could take them home, and we left the box that had my name on it under her desk.

The following week, the file clerk again set out files for me with my name on a box in the file room.  And, again, Gwen put the box under her desk in her cubicle.  Then, I started noticing that my work and updates were being deleted from the shared software.  I complained to another coworker that I trusted, and he allowed me to use his software.  He also saw that my work was being tampered with on days that I wasn't in the office.  So, he knew something was going on because the software that I used could only be accessed when you were in the office.   He was a supervising attorney so no one else could access his software without a code.

One day, our boss wanted an update on two cases - one that I was working on and one that Gwen was working on.  The case I was working on was one of the files that Gwen had hidden from me.  She didn't know that I had already found her hiding place.  So, before I could get a word out, Gwen blurted out that no work had been done on my case file.  She then went on to say that she noticed I hadn't been doing any work since I started working from home.  Of course, I was fuming on the inside, but I kept my composure.  When she finished, I explained that I saved all my work and updates on the supervising attorney's software because I was having "issues" with the shared software and somehow my work kept getting deleted.  I then gave my normal update.  After this meeting, I heard that Gwen kept complaining about my files being out of the office.  Suddenly, she would need "something" in one of the files.  So, my boss asked me to come back to working in the office once my son was old enough for daycare.

Read Part 2 of Why I have no plans to go back to work in the next post.

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